..are they really? my Spanish lecturer often say that Malaysians love faking politeness or at least try their damnest best to be polite because it is our culture and we were brought up in such a way, so much so if we don’t say ‘sorry’ repeatedly over some silly mistakes, we’ll most likely be given disapproving glares from the onlookers or/and the ‘victimized’ parties. i have to agree with her as personally i am that person. the type who apologizes for no apparent reason when half of the time i should be the one seeking an apology! Encounters such as getting your foot stepped on, or to have someone’s kid come running right to your crotch and hit you right there while his/her parents are too busy shopping or checking their fancy smartphones and therefore are oblivious to their surroundings, or when you are doing your grocery shopping and out of nowhere your trolley gets jerked away from your hand grip due to some moron’s inability to stay on course. these are among the few familiar scenarios that most of us can relate to. i do not know why, but often times when i’m presented with such an encounter, i’ll end up saying ‘sorry’ till it hit me a couple of seconds later that what had happened earlier was not my fault! i think we Malaysians are conditioned in this way. how we let this become a norm is beyond me. i tried to stop being all apologetic at one point, but the outcome was not a positive one. it was as though there was an unexplainable void in between the nonverbal exchanges. i mean if you can’t say ‘sorry’, what else can you do? nod? shake your heads? finger gestures? move on with your activities like nothing happened? *Bingo*
my lecturer was bobbing her head while trying to remain all serious-like in class. “Si, claro”
but, how?! it seems rude to just walk away from the encounter and not say a single thing. “No lo se, you Malaysians and your constant no importa apologies,”
Much as i hate to admit, she is telling the truth somewhat. do you think that we are kidding ourselves by trying to be so damn polite all the time in a society where transparency and equality remain as delicate issues? or are we trying to make up for all that we’re lacked in morality with this poor man’s substitution?
i often ask myself this pertinent question. till this day i don’t have a clear cut answer. please shed some light, i’m tired of being in the dark.